Meet our Scientists

Allison Gicking

Graduate Student (G2)
Department of Physics

Q: What do you do on a daily basis in the lab?
A: It depends on the day. There is a lot of preparation that needs to be done before I can actually take images on the microscope, so my days can include protein purification, molecular cloning, growing E.Coli cultures as well as TIRF experiments.

Q: What do you plan on doing after working in the lab?
A: Ideally, I would like to continue doing research, either at a biophysics/biomedical company or in a national lab.

Q: What are your favorite parts of working in the lab?
A: I love being able to prepare a sample of live molecular motors and then watch them move in real time on the microscope. It is so fascinating to me that we have these tiny machines in our cells that have evolved to perform such diverse and sophisticated functions.

Q: What suggestions do you have for someone who wants to go into the sciences?
A: I think the most important thing is to find a subject that you are passionate about. The sciences can be challenging and frustrating but it doesn’t feel like work if it’s something you love to do.





Elliott Capek

Undergraduate (Past lab member)
Department of Physics

Q: What do you do on a daily basis in the lab?
A: When I worked in the lab, I would mostly purify proteins from E. coli media and do TIRF assays on them. This involved growing E. coli cells with the gene we wanted to express, purifying the proteins from the E. coli media and making videos of the purified motor proteins walking along microtubules using the TIRF system.

Q: What do you plan on doing after working in the lab?
A: Graduate school!


Q: What are your favorite parts of working in the lab?
A: I enjoyed the people. Everyone was interested in science. I also enjoyed learning things about biological research. The process of taking a gene and turning it into a movie of a walking motor protein is very involved and interesting. Working in a lab gives you learning opportunities that you get nowhere else.


Q: What suggestions do you have for someone who wants to go into the sciences?
A: Work hard and don’t be afraid to reach out. Learning science is tough but rewarding. Finding a mentor is really important, so don’t be afraid to approach a professor and ask for a lab position. The worst they will do is say they are full, and at best you will have a job.






Jeremy Meinke

Undergraduate
Department of Physics

Q: What do you do on a daily basis in the lab?
A: I usually do molecular cloning. I make DNA constructs and express them in a vector, usually E. coli.

Q: What do you plan on doing after working in the lab?
A: I’d like to go to graduate school. I’m not sure where, but I would like to go into physics.

Q: What are your favorite parts of working in the lab?
A: I like being able to alter the DNA in an organism as small as E. coli and have it behave completely differently.

Q: What suggestions do you have for someone who wants to go into the sciences?
A: If you want to work in a lab, just email a professor.








Ryan Scheirer

Undergraduate
Department of Physics

Q: What do you do on a daily basis in the lab?
A: I use molecular cloning and protein purification techniques to create motor proteins, which I then analyze with our TIRF microscope.

Q: What do you plan on doing after working in the lab?
A: I’m working in the lab to get my PhD. After that, I might teach or do a postdoctoral position somewhere.

Q: What are your favorite parts of working in the lab?
A: Expanding my knowledge in a different field of study that I don’t have my degree in.

Q: What suggestions do you have for someone who wants to go into the sciences?
A: Never stop asking questions about how things work!